Considering he will challenge Liam Walsh for the British title in London as soon as May, Marco McCullough would have been forgiven for taking a ‘gimme’ warm up on the Belfast Boys are Back in Town show this Friday night.
However, the popular Belfast fighter is expecting a tough eight rounds rather than a quick blow out when he takes on Leonel Hernandez.
McCullough returns to the venue where he had a sensational scrap with Martin Parlagi and is expecting another hard test. The 27 year old former Commonwealth title challenger would be expected to beat the Spanish-based Nicaraguan, but does feel he will have to work for the victory over a fighter that took Anthony Cacace and Kiko Martinez the distance.
“It’s another tough opponent. I never get an easy one! Looking at his record he has been with some good fighters and some big punchers. He has been in with Anthony Cacace and Kiko Martinez and went the distance, so I am expecting a good tough eight rounder,” McCullough told Irish-Boxing.com.
It is a slight risk considering the fact he has a big May date lined up, but McCullough believes he will benefit from someone who can bring him rounds. The ticket-selling former Irish champion has changed teams since his defeat to Issac Lowe and feels Friday is perfect chance for him to try and implement the new teachings he has been given and thus proves perfect prep for a Walsh scrap.
“I have a relatively new team around me so it is a chance to get some rounds in. I can work on getting rid of some bad habits and try and fight they way they want me to. It’s another great fight that way so I really can’t complain,” he continued.
“We could have picked an opponent that I could have got out of the way in 30 seconds with the British title fight lined up, but it is good to get a tough fight in. I think it will be a good fight so I can’t look past him.”
McCullough clearly isn’t looking past Friday, but he did light up when the British title fight was brought up. He is genuinely excited about a big BT broadcast clash and the chance to win an ‘iconic’ title.
Reading Irish-Boxing.com the morning of the final press conference informed him the clash was delayed a few weeks, but that didn’t dampen his spirits, indeed he sees it as a positive.
“It’s a cracking fight. I am going to his backyard to try and take his title so I have it all against me, but these are the big fights I want to be involved in. I have been doing everything in the gym perfectly and things are starting to come together so it’s good timing for me. With this fight being so tough, I have it in my head it will be a tough eight rounds, that delay is probably for the best.”
Walsh has Belfast victory previous having defeated James Tennyson in April of last year. McCullough admits he has asked ‘Tenny’, who is involved in a mouthwatering Irish Title fight with Declan Geraghty on the same card, about Walsh.
“When James fought him he was killed at the weight. He said he was weak going into the fight so you can’t look too much into that fight. He was telling me he was small and strong, but you can see that anyway. I know to expect that, but I am 100 percent confident. I am really looking forward to it. Winning that title would be a bit of history. It’s an iconic belt and I’d love to win it and defend it a few times. I am really looking forward to it.”